Crowns vs Veneers vs Bonding

It’s often a dilemma knowing which to choose, crowns, veneers or bonding so we thought we would explain the differences between each in order that you can make the best decision based upon your own requirements and clinical needs.

What are the main differences between crowns, veneers and bonding?

  • Cost
  • Strength
  • Removal of tooth structure
  • Ability to change appearance of the tooth
  • Frequency of replacement

Crowns vs Veneers vs Bonding Cost

The cost of crowns, veneers and bonding is determined by a couple of factors:

  1. The time it takes.
  2. The cost of materials.
  3. The cost of laboratory fees.

Bonding usually takes a little less time than veneers and particularly crowns, but the biggest difference is the cost of laboratory fees. Bonding is done directly onto your tooth and therefore there is no third-party laboratory required in order to manufacture the restoration, this keeps the cost down considerably.

Bonding typically starts from between £345-£445 depending upon the complexity.

Dental veneers and crowns Usually take longer than dental bonding as the dentist needs to prepare the underlying tooth structure in a very precise way in order to receive the new dental veneer and Crown. Once the dentist had prepared the underlying tooth an impression will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory, the dental laboratory then makes the veneer or crown. This extended procedure adds to the cost.

Veneers and crowns typically start from £650 depending upon the complexity.

Crowns vs Veneers vs Bonding Strength

These three restorations can be ranked in order of strength.

  1. Dental bonding-lowest
  2. Dental veneers
  3. Dental crowns-highest

With any type of restoration on a tooth one needs to be aware and be sensitive to the fact that what you have is not an entirely natural tooth. Dental bonding is most prone to fracture, however because the bonding is done directly onto the tooth it is the easiest to be repaired by the dentist. If veneers or crowns fracture they will need to be removed and sent back to the laboratory for repair, sometimes repairs are not possible and a full remake is required.

Crowns vs Veneers vs Bonding Removal of tooth structure

Most dentists will prefer to keep as much natural tooth structure as possible, this is generally the preferred option wherever clinically justified. Removal of tooth structure is needed in order to receive the new restoration, particularly with veneers and crowns although sometimes a small amount of tooth structure is removed for dental bonding.

The three restorations can be ranked in order of the amount of tooth structure generally required to be removed.

  1. Dental bonding-lowest amount of tooth structure removed
  2. Dental veneers
  3. Dental crowns-highest amount of tooth structure removed

Crowns vs Veneers vs Bonding Ability to change appearance of tooth

Depending on what change of appearance is required may define which type of restoration your dentist uses.

  1. Minor chips and shape defects can be corrected with dental bonding.
  2. More major chips and shape defects plus the colour of the tooth can be corrected with dental veneers.
  3. The most severe chips, shape defects, tooth rotations and tooth wear can be corrected with dental crowns.

Crowns vs Veneers vs Bonding Frequency of replacement

The frequency of replacement will usually be determined by the following:

  • How quickly the materials used becomes worn or discoloured.
  • How well you look after the restoration, teeth and gums.
  • How careful you are when eating.
  • How well do you protect your teeth during sport.
  • Not having any accidents!

As you can see you will play an active role in maintaining the restoration and ensuring it lasts as long as possible.

Typical problems and reasons for replacement are as follows:

  • Dental bonding
    • The composite bonding material can discolour due to strong coloured foods being consumed or smoking etc
    • The restoration can chip due to excessive biting forces.
  • Dental veneers & crowns
    • The restoration can chip due to excessive biting forces.
    • The surrounding teeth change colour (either darker through age or whiter through whitening) and the dental veneer no longer matches and needs to be replaced.
    • The gum margin on the tooth recedes due to age (a natural phenomenon), this can then expose the underlying tooth which often look starker. This necessitates remaking the veneer or crown in order to cover up his newly exposed underlying tooth.

Summary

As you can see, the decision about whether to have crowns, veneers or bonding is not a simple one. It involves taking into account many factors and balancing out the risk factors in order to ensure you have the very best restoration for your budget, requirements and clinical suitability. Cosmetic dentistry such as this is very often as much an art as it is a science.

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit is the founder and principal dentist of Blue Court Dental. Patients enjoy his relaxed, friendly and gentle approach while experiencing his meticulous attention to detail. He has a special interest in providing smile makeovers, natural-looking white fillings and cosmetic braces, but also provides a range of treatments from preventative and general dental care to complex dental rehabilitation.
Dr Nishan Dixit

Published by

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit is the founder and principal dentist of Blue Court Dental. Patients enjoy his relaxed, friendly and gentle approach while experiencing his meticulous attention to detail. He has a special interest in providing smile makeovers, natural-looking white fillings and cosmetic braces, but also provides a range of treatments from preventative and general dental care to complex dental rehabilitation.